An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed near Nawanshahr, in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab state in the early hours of May 8, 2020 (Friday). The pilot ejected immediately after the aircraft failed to respond as expected, after developing a technical snag. The pilot, identified as Wing Commander MK Pandey is safe. The MiG, which was on a training mission had taken off from the Adampur Air Force Station near Jalandhar, an IAF base in Punjab.

The MiG-29 crashed in the remote fields in Punjab state; fortunately no one on the ground was injured. ©Rediff

As per reports, the pilot was rescued by a helicopter and a Court of Inquiry has been set up to investigate the root cause of the accident. An IAF spokesperson stated:

‘On May 08 at 1045hr, one MiG-29 aircraft airborne on a training mission from an Air Force base near Jalandhar met with an accident. The aircraft had developed a technical snag and the pilot ejected safely as he was unable to control the aircraft’

Punjab State Chief Minister,  Capt. Amarinder Singh, has applauded the locals for rushing to the aid of the IAF pilot after the crash. 

Locals rushed to help the pilot who ejected right before the crash. ©TheHindu

IAF does have quite an infamous record with the MiG fighter jets – having lost several MiG 21 trainers and MiG 29 fighter jets in crashes in recent years, due to technical snags.

A detailed report of the accident shall be released soon after necessary investigations and surveys. We shall closely follow the same. 

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